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BIR ‘fixer’ suspected in kidnapping syndicate

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by Allan Yves Briones

“Definitely (the syndicate) is working with a fixer.”

Philippine National Police (PNP) National Capital Region Police Office Chief Major General Guillermo Eleazar emphasized the likelihood of a “fixer” or an employee within the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) being a part of the kidnap-for-ransom syndicate targeting revenue officials.

This was the result of their 12-month investigation, Eleazar said to the press in the wake of a shootout between the police and a suspected member of the syndicate in Marilao, Bulacan.

In addition to an inside man who helps the kidnappers identify their targets, according to Eleazar, the police suspects the involvement of several police officers and a retired military official in the kidnapping scheme.

“There are (members) who are active cops, whom we cannot name, and there are those who have gone AWOL. We have also learned that they are working with at least one retired military personnel,” he said in the vernacular.

Another PNP official, Chief Oscar Albayalde, mentioned the likelihood of these “fixers.”

“There are indications that someone is tipping off…I’m not saying it’s true but it’s not far fetched,” he told reporters.

According to Eleazar, the police also discovered at least one vehicle, a Ford Everest, in possession of the suspected gang member which was previously stolen from a BIR executive in June.

They also found documents referring to a Mitsubishi Montero previously owned by another BIR official allegedly used to ambush a mayoral candidate in Cagayan.

At least 15 BIR officials have reportedly been kidnapped since 2013.

Albayalde urged the revenue bureau to look into cleaning up its ranks.

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